Messaging & E-Visits

South Shore MyChart’s messaging platform is a convenient way to contact your care team and manage different aspects of your patient experience.

Many patients also use MyChart’s messaging platform for medical advice, whether asking a question about a new symptom or offering an update on a chronic condition.

In recent years, we have seen a surge in messages seeking medical advice, which often require extensive time, research, and expertise from your care team.

Effective February 1, 2023, some messages requiring clinical expertise may be billed to your insurance.

This will allow us to continue to meet your medical needs on your terms while helping our providers address the high volume of MyChart messages.

Learn more about E-Visits and when messages may be billed to insurance below.

Frequently Asked Questions: MyChart Messaging & E-Visits

E-Visits and MyChart messages are both convenient ways of receiving care from your provider for a simple medical issue without going into the office or logging on to a scheduled telehealth visit.

Both E-Visits and MyChart messages occur entirely within MyChart's secure messaging platform.

E-Visits are focused on a specific issue - for example, to discuss whether to adjust a medication that you recently started.

MyChart messages, also called Patient Advice Requests, can be more general.

These may be as simple as a quick question after a recent visit or could involve more detailed review and analysis by your care team.

The goal of E-Visits and MyChart messages is the same as an in-person visit or a telehealth visit: to get you the care and advice you need, as conveniently as possible.

If a concern is too complex for an E-Visit or MyChart message, you will be advised to schedule an in-person visit with us or at a local urgent care office.

Please note that E-Visits should not be used for urgent or time-sensitive concerns.

No – MyChart messaging will remain a convenient and effective way to manage many parts of your patient experience without resulting in a bill.

Only E-Visits or messages that necessitate review of your chart and clinical decision making or medical evaluation may warrant a charge.

Free messages include:

  • Scheduling an appointment
  • Requesting a prescription refill
  • Changing your primary care provider
  • Questions about billing
  • Other customer service-related inquiries

In addition, questions about a visit or lab results within the previous seven days would not result in a bill.

For most patients, E-Visits or MyChart messages will be billed to insurance as a form of virtual care, similar to a telehealth visit. 

Most insurers cover these visits, but patients may be responsible for a copay. Additional charges may apply for patients with a deductible or if these visits aren’t covered.

Patients should verify all coverage options with their insurer if they have concerns.

E-Visits or MyChart messages that require a clinician to make a clinical assessment or medical decision, order a test or medication, or review a patient’s medical history to respond properly may result in charges.

Real-life examples include:

  • A new issue or symptom requiring assessment or referral
  • Adjustments to existing medications
  • Check-ins, flare-ups, or changes in a chronic condition
  • Requests to complete certain patient forms


E-Visits are available through your care team for targeted situations, such as medication adjustment after a visit.

If you do not see an E-Visit option available in MyChart, you may instead send a MyChart message with a medical advice question to your care team.

No. E-Visits and MyChart messages are optional. These are meant to increase convenience for patients. 

In some cases, patients may prefer to choose a telehealth or in-person appointment instead, which our team will schedule at the earliest opportunity.

If your message results in a scheduled telehealth or in-person appointment, you will not be billed for the E-Visit or message.

In other cases, patients may elect to discuss the content of their message at a future appointment.

Your care team will make every effort to respond to your E-Visit and MyChart messages as efficiently as possible.

In most cases, patients will receive a response within three to five business days.

E-Visits and MyChart messages should not be used for urgent or time-sensitive concerns.

In those cases, we encourage patients to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment, visit their nearest walk-in urgent care center, or dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.

MyChart messages can be convenient for both patients and care teams – however, the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in the healthcare landscape have drastically increased the volume of messages.

While care teams make every attempt to provide patients with timely, appropriate responses, many requests for medical advice fall outside of established care protocols.

In addition, assessing and responding to requests for medical advice via MyChart message consume a great deal of our providers’ time, on top of seeing patients in clinic.

These changes will help patients get convenient access to care through the appropriate channel while also ensuring that our processes are sustainable for our providers.

These changes also reflect a broader shift towards modernizing our virtual care options and allowing patients to access care in their preferred manner.